You successfully wrote and recorded an album, sold it at shows and online. Feels good doesn’t it? Now what happens 3 months after the release date? Do you rush back into the studio to record more songs? For most, recording is not possible since they’re likely to be out on tour or playing shows to help support the release. So, let’s look at different avenues to venture down to help keep your name relevant and on top of the charts. This week’s Generation DIY will talk about remixing original music as well as the benefits of having tracks remixed by other artists.
We’ve all seen it before, the glorious B-sides. Many times artists will release a B-sides CD that mirrors the original A/B sides of a vinyl record. The B-side usually contained songs that never made it to the original LP but was a band favorite and something they wanted to share with their fans. Moving forward into the digital age, artists have taken this great idea and turned it into a moneymaking machine. Traditionally a band or artist will support the release of their album by touring the country, hitting many markets to burn their music and image into the minds of their fans. However, for those of us who do not get the luxury of seeing them live, listening to the same songs for a few months can get, well quite exhausting. In many cases the band (or label) will release a B-sides that will feature acoustic tracks, remixed tracks from the album, even rare songs that were recorded but never made the cut. So you go from LP release date in January to B-Sides EP release date in late March and presto, you’ve kept yourself relevant in the music market.
Although B-sides guarantee more sales as well as something your fans can grab and hold onto, remixing a single track can go a long way. For instance look at One Republic’s track “Apologize.” The original cut of the song, must I say it, is quite dry and solemn—it’s depressing to listen to. However, with a seasoned producer like Timbaland in the picture, the song is revamped with some bells and whistles, better production and a little more spice to the vocals. What do you have now? A Top 40 hit. Would you look at that! After releasing an album that didn’t hit the mainstream market, a remix (mind you by a known producer) pushed this band past regular checkpoints right into the limelight. Now One Republic may not be the best example for young artists, since they have been around for a while and are much larger than those of us starting out, however this example still shows that being creative with a hint of ingenuity can go a long way.
Remixes can be done in many different ways: for instance taking a different genre and splicing elements into your existing song (i.e. rock artists that use hip-hop or salsa beats to give their music a Latin feel). You can also take a full band track and strip it down into an acoustic track. This doesn’t mean you have to play the same version as the original. Give the song some life and spice—it’s acoustic, you don’t have much behind you so make it interesting. Some artists choose to go the other way and create an electronic version of a song, which surprisingly enough may be picked up by DJs to be used in clubs. If the track is catchy enough, it’d be a great way to field exposure without having to personally step out of your boundaries. Think outside the box—it’s the best way to make your mark.
Remember it’s all about being one step ahead of the game and having a fresh outlook on both your music and your market. In the end, we’re all after one thing: to live the dream. Try and WOW your audience with some a unique spin on your original tracks. You never know, it may just cause a ripple effect that leads to your big break.
Keep the hustle alive Generation DIY. Let’s continue livin’ the dream.
Below I added some links to the One Republic original and remixed track as well as for those of you indie fans a remix of Manchester Orchestra’s “Shake It Out” done by P.O.S. Enjoy!
One Republic – Apologize (Original Version)
One Republic – Apologize (Timbaland Remix)
Manchester Orchestra – Shake It Out (Original version)
Manchester Orchestra – Shake It Out (P.O.S. Remix)